*In case you missed it this morning, here’s the elaborate exit made by “Today” show co-host Meredith Viera this morning.
With about 15 minutes left in her tenure following a five year stint at NBC’s top-rated morning show, Matt Lauer began serenading her at the piano while lip-synching the opening to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing.”
He then passed her off to Ann Curry, Viera’s replacement in the anchor chair, who in turn passed her to other “Today” show co-workers, correspondents, cast and crew members as she made her way through the building and outside to a platform surrounded by adoring fans – and one Abe Vigoda.
*As is his pattern, Donald Trump has fired back hard at Bill Cosby, who criticized the real estate mogul during an appearance on the “Today” show last week.
As previously reported, host Meredith Vieira asked Cosby about the seriousness of Trump’s flirtation with a presidential run, since the “Celebrity Apprentice” star had been a guest earlier in the program.
“He’s full of it,” declared Cosby at one point. He later said, “The only thing he’s running is his mouth.”
Well Trump has fired back by releasing a statement blistering Cosby as dishonest about his reasons for opposing a Trump candidacy, and suggesting the real reason Cosby disparaged him is because he supports President Obama.
“Sadly, he got more attention talking about me than he did on the merits of his own appearance – maybe he is not as dumb as I thought,” concludes Trump.
Read the full statement below:
“The other day on The Today Show, right after I was interviewed by Meredith Vieira, a terrific person and reporter, I happened to watch Bill Cosby who was on at the end of the show. While I have never been a fan of Cosby’s, I had always assumed he liked or respected me because every time I met him—the last time at the David Letterman show where I preceded him as a guest—he was always so nice, saying, ‘let’s get together’ – asking me out to dinner, and being polite to the point of offering to buy me a suit because he has a ‘great tailor.’”
“In any event, as I watched the show, the subject of Donald Trump came up. I was surprised to hear him blabber, somewhat incoherently, ‘you run or shut up.’ The hatred was pouring out of his eyes when he said this.”
“As I am sure he must know I cannot run until this season of Celebrity Apprentice ends. I know that he has taken a lot of heat over the years in that he seems to be talking down to the people he’s talking to and purportedly trying to help. Actually, based on the way he acted, things are not looking too good for Cosby.”
“I wish he would be more honest, and if he doesn’t want me to run because he’s obviously an Obama fan, he should state the reasons and not come into my “green room” in front of numerous witnesses and treat me like his best friend, only to denigrate me when I’m not around. Sadly, he got more attention talking about me than he did on the merits of his own appearance—maybe he is not as dumb as I thought.”
*Bill Cosby was on the Today Show yesterday to discuss the black community and education and stuff like that.
But when it was time to wrap up the interview, host Meredith Viera seemed to be asked by a producer to query Cosby what he thinks about Donald Trump and his birther rhetoric and quest for the White House.
“He’s full of it,” was Cosby’s retort. An awkward silence followed until Vieira quietly asked him to clarify. Apparently, Cosby is annoyed with Trump’s hesitation to formally announce his candidacy. “You running? Or shut up.”
Trust us, it gets better. If you haven’t seen it, click HERE at eurThisNThat.com.
*Janet Jackson says she’s determined to attend Dr. Conrad Murray’s upcoming involuntary manslaughter trial, because she wants to “see justice” served for the death of her brother Michael.
The singer made her intentions known to “Today’s” Meredith Viera this morning in a clip from a longer interview to air this Sunday on “Dateline.”
Janet also expressed that she always wanted to look like her older sister Rebbie, and that her father’s insistence that his children refer to him as “Joseph” and not “Dad” continues to have a sobering effect on her.
As for Murray’s trial, Janet says she will be front and center in the Los Angeles courtroom with other members of her famous family to witness the proceedings.
“It’s tough sitting in the courtroom,” she told the “Today” show’s Meredith Vieira. “(But) it’s my brother, it’s my blood, he’s no longer here because of X, Y and Z. I think it’s important to every family who’s lost someone (to attend court). You want to see justice.”
Watch Janet’s “Today” interview below. [Scroll down for Oprah on "Morning Joe.']
*NBC’s “Today” show reported this morning that the emotional roller coaster accompanying the remarkable story of Carlina White has taken another major dip.
Kidnapped as an infant from a Bronx hospital and raised in Connecticut, Carlina tracked down her birth parents and joyfully reunited with them last month after a 23-year separation. Only now, says Joy White, she is again estranged from her daughter, as was revealed in a teary interview Tuesday.
“It’s been pretty tough,” said White. “I wanted to have a relationship with my daughter.” She now feels like she has lost her daughter twice, and Carlina has, according to her birth mother, grown distant and mercenary.
Carlina White would not comment to “Today” and will only speak for money, it was reported.
Carlina White, a.k.a. Nejdra Nance
Once the discovery of Carlina’s true background was made – she had contacted the hotline of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children – Carlina, who was going by the name Nejdra Nance, came to the Bronx to meet her birth parents. After a four-day reunion, Carlina returned to Atlanta, where she lives, then came back to the Bronx a day later to be photographed and tell her story to the New York Post, “Today’s” Meredith Vieira reported.
“I was on such a high when I was reunited with my daughter,” said Joy White “I was floating on air. Everything seemed so great.”
But on the second visit it could be detected that Carlina acted distant, according to Joy, who also admitted there may have been a loyalty conflict brought on by pressure from the other family of Carlina – who has gone back to using the name Nejdra Nance.
“It really hurts,” said Joy White, who described herself as “heartbroken, but I do understand that is her family. She was brought up by them. She’s with that family. That’s all she knows. [But] I’m her mother. It hurts not to have my daughter. I want her back.”
Ann Pettway awaits her fate over kidnapping charges stemming from the 1987 abduction of Carlina White. Carlina still feels part of the Pettway family.
There are also questions about a $750,000 settlement Joy White and her husband received from the hospital after the kidnapping. White said a major portion of that money was put into trust for Carlina until the time she turned 21. As she is now 23, the money is “gone,” said White, also speaking for her husband, Carl Tyson. “We both had to live.” They also have two other children.
“I’m disappointed, because this was a miracle that happened. It’s mind-blowing,” said White. “It hurts me that it’s about money.”
Presenting a conflicting view on CBS’s “The Early Show” on Tuesday, Tyson said, “I speak to my daughter every morning and text her.” He made no mention of any problems, except for the distance between him and Atlanta. “I just wish she were close to me,” he said. [Click hereto watch Tyson's CBS interview.]
In other developments surrounding the case, NBC News reported that FBI and law authorities were tipped off six years ago about Carlina’s situation but failed to follow through. In addition, alleged kidnapper Ann Pettway is facing a delay of at least two more weeks in a grand jury’s decision in her case.
Janet Jackson smiles at fans upon her arrival at the Manila International Airport February 3, 2011. Jackson will kick off her "Number Ones, Up Close and Personal" world tour with a concert in Manila on Friday.
*Janet Jackson says she continues to have issues with her body image.
In an interview with “Today” host Meredith Viera set to air Friday (Feb. 11), the 44-year-old singer admits she has always struggled with her self-confidence, and though she now feels more comfortable with her appearance than she did in her 20s, she still has periods of feeling unattractive.
“I would literally bang my head up against the wall because I didn’t feel attractive. There was a lot of pain in my life. But I did. I felt very unattractive.
“I still have issues with it. I don’t bang my head up against the wall, but I still have those moments. And I think it’ll probably continue but at least I know how to deal with it now. And I’m in a much better space.”
As Janet has mentioned before, many of her insecurities, she believes, stem from the nicknames she was given by her famous brothers, including “horse, pig, cow, and slaughter-hog.”
“It makes you laugh, it really does. It makes you laugh,” she said. “I guess some people could say, ‘Oh that’s, you know, brothers and sisters joking, it’s all affection, it’s all, you know, it’s in a loving way.’ But not everybody can brush it off, and I was one of those.”
Miss Jackson also spoke about her relationship with her father Joe Jackson, admitting he banned her from calling him “Dad.”
“He said, ‘I’m Joseph to you. You do not call me dad.’ That affects you as a kid,” she told Viera. “I know my father loves me. He just has a very, very different way of showing it.”
Janet recorded the “Today” interview to plug her new book, “True You: A Journey to Finding and Loving Yourself,” and world tour “Up Close and Personal.” Both launch on Friday.